Monday, April 20, 2009

Healthcare in America (or the lack thereof)

This is a very personal issue for me. I'm one of those who slips through the cracks. The focus seems to be on everyone except those of us who have no options for getting any kind of healthcare. My health has been getting steadily worse for the last 4 or 5 years and being diagnosed with diabetes about 6 months ago just added to my long list. At this point I can't work because of my health which means I have zero income. I'm forced to live with 2 of my grown children until something drasticly changes. I can't seem to qualify for any help because even though my children don't make that much income they still have to use the income of anyone i'm living with which means I don't qualify for any kind of aid. So what? I only have hope of help if I become a baglady on the street? 

I don't know where the heads of our politicians are but it isn't with those of use in need of healthcare in this country. Do they not get the concept that if i were able to get real healthcare there might be a chance I could at least return to a part time job if not full time? Does it mean that because i'm unemployed and uninsured I don't have the right to live like everyone else. I kind of half jokingly tell my children they will know the full extent of my illness's when my autopsy is performed. If i'm seriously ill my only recourse is to go to the emergency room. While there i'm treated as if i'm less than human and the only treatment i'm likely to get is something to mask the symptoms and sent home.

I was recently taken to the emergency room by my daughter because of chest pains and a serious problem with my left arm. Much to my surprise I was checked in for tests to make sure it wasn't a heart attack or blood clots since I had all the classic symptoms. After 2 days and many tests to check my heart and check for clots luckily the tests came back negative. But what about my arm? I can't use it or even lift it over my head. Its swollen in several places. The pain is constant and on the 1 to 10 scale a 10 most of the time. But did they check to see what the problem was? NO! It wasn't my heart so they sent me home. To top it off..the doctor at the hospital that was handling my case only came in to see me once the whole time I was there. The visit lasted for all of about 10 minutes and I never saw her again. She ordered the tests on my heart and passed the results to me through the nurses. The nurses were even upset that she didn't do further testing to find out what the problem was. They even called her twice on my behalf to try to get her to keep me in for more testing, but she refused. I guess since i'm unworthy to live I wasn't worth her time.

It's sad to say, but in my opinion the doctors who become doctors because they have true compasion and want to help people get well are far and few between. I think they can forget the hypocratic oath, it no longer means anything in todays medical world.  It's all about money. If you don't have money or insurance you are now worthless and not deserving of healthcare. I have Graves disease, diabetes, osteo-arthritis, fibromyalsia, degenerative discs with bone spurs in my back, severe acid reflux disease,  and those are just the illness's that have so far been diagnosed. I also need several other tests to diagnose or rule out other possible problems. But without any health insurance the tests will never get done.  One of the social services workers at the hospital will be working with me to try to help me get medicaid/disability, but after being told I don't qualify for any other help I don't hold out much hope for that.

I was recently infuriated by some information my sister had heard about. She wasn't sure of the details but I will be doing some research and will post regarding it in the furture. I believe it was at the state level but they are considering passing a law requiring everyone to have health insurance. So if they pass this law...what about those people out there like me. I have no income! So I'm suppose to pay for this health insurance with what? I guess I could always sit on the street corner with a cup and beg money, but I'm not thinking that would go over to well. 

Well thats my story such as it is. I'd like to hear your stories and opinions on this subject. Jump on and give me your thoughts.

P.S. President Obama, I'm putting my faith in you. Give me a chance to live like a normal human being and not feel like a second class citizen who isn't worthy to live. I worked for years and raised my children and what do I have to show for it? NOTHING!

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